Monday, November 29, 2010

His Christmas Presents are Coming from Bed, Bath, and Beyond

Recently, my kitchen has turned into Rhett's toy discovery center. Seriously, the kid wants to play with everything in it. Some favorites? The dough roller, the funnel, and all-time favorite...the pasta spoon. So if you're stumped as to what to get him for Christmas, hit up your local Bed, Bath, and Beyond; I'm sure he'll love whatever you pick out.

He's also said some interesting gems lately.
At Stake Conference...
Rhett: Why is that baby crying?
Me: I don't know.
Rhett: Maybe because it doesn't like stake conference.
Me: Maybe, Rhett, just maybe.

Or its relative...
Rhett: Why is that baby crying?
Me: I don't know.
Rhett: Maybe because it doesn't like you, Mom.
Probably true, but still...ouch.

Me: Why have you been so fussy and whiny today?
Rhett: Because I want you to do what I tell you to do!
The feeling is mutual, little man.

Finally, he thinks it's hysterical when he drops the last syllable from a word. For example, Bruno is not Bruno, but rather Brune. Pepperoni is not pepperoni, it's pepperone. Banana is not banana, it's banan. He thinks this is absolutely hysterical and then tells me, "Don't worry, Mom. It's just a joke."

And a video I expect only family to watch in its entirety.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Thoughts

The obligatory Thanksgiving post ensues...(Check back tomorrow for fun family pictures.)

Of course I am thankful for my family, the Gospel, my body, etc. I am; I really really am.

But let's ignore those for now. At last year's Relief Society Gratitude Dinner, my friend and I both wrote down that we were thankful for TiVo. I still am; I really really am.

This year I'm thankful for Chuck's job and mine. First, my job. I am so thankful that not only do I have a job, but I have a good job. A job that is professional and uses my degrees. A job that pays me way more than I deserve. A job that is incredibly flexible (made easier because of great boss). I read an article recently about women leaving the workforce when they had children because working part-time wasn't an option. Those women would have liked to continue working some, but what are their options? Let's face it: most part-time jobs don't pay well. So I am thankful for one that does.

Second, Chuck's job. I am so thankful that Chuck has a job (of course) but one that really allows him to be an active husband to me and an active father to Rhett. He's home by 3:30 every day (4:00 at the very latest), and is home every weekend. He never has to work nights (except for the occasional football game he has to attend) and rarely brings work home. The other day I overheard some women talking about another woman who already finished her Christmas shopping...including wrapping. The response from one of the women, "Well, she has a husband who comes home by 6 every day." Uh, 6?!? Are you kidding? I would be crying in my Cheerios if Chuck didn't come home until then. Honestly, I could not have that life. Sure, I'd take that money, but not for the price of Chuck being away from us.

The End.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weekend Projects

Ever since I've had more desire to start "crafting" with Rhett, I knew that I'd need a good tablecloth to protect my lovely table. I'd been using a crappy plastic tablecloth that moves and slides--it was not working for me. So what to do? I wanted to do one with laminated cottons, but dang, they can be expensive. Next best thing? Plastic-coated fabric from Ikea! I saw this tutorial at Smashed Peas and Carrots and knew it would be perfect. Bring on the mess! P.S. If you can sew straight lines, you can do this. Or, if you can staple, you can do this.

While planning for last week's Joy School lesson on Thanksgiving, I ran across this page. I really wanted to do the Sweatshirt Turkey with the kids, but had a couple of reservations. (1) The six kids are two years old. And (2) See No. 1. So we did the turkey hats instead. BUT I knew I could handle the paint with Rhett. I thought I'd like it a bit more lasting, so instead of doing it on a shirt, I did it on artist canvas. The whole project was super cheap and easy. I love it. Rhett's laughing because it tickled. (And look at me using that tablecloth immediately. Already worth it.)

This is the first of Rhett's Christmas presents. I want to get Rhett a nice play kitchen. But I really dislike the plastic ones (Call me a snob; I can take it.), and really, where would it go? When I saw this, I was inspired. We have a stool in our kitchen already (remember, I'm only 5'1"--a stool is a necessity) so I made it to cover that stool. This way, it takes up no more space than is already in use, and Rhett can be using it in the kitchen when I'm doing my stuff. I think a chef's hat and apron are in his future.  (I have not yet decided how to do the oven knobs, which is why you don't see them.)

In addition to the crafting, I did some cooking. We ate this pumpkin ice cream (sans bourbon, of course), these pumpkin rolls, and chili. Bring it FALL.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Overheard on the Metro Yesterday

Warning: This post contains anatomically correct language. You've been warned.

Scene: Toddler, about Rhett's age, sitting on his dad's lap on the metro during rush hour. It was a completely packed train. Toddler is pretty antsy, not wanting to stay on dad's lap, understandable given the child's age.

Little boy says to dad, who is trying to wrestle him to stay still, "Dad, stop hurting my penis!" Loudly. Repeatedly. Totally awesomely. To the snickers of all around them.  (Not to worry, no hurting was actually going on.)

It made me smile all the way home. In fact I'm still smiling about it now.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Winter Blahs

Although I love all seasons but summer, I find winter hard when you have a kid. Certainly I see the value in making sure Rhett gets outside during the colder months, but it's just harder once it's cold. We can't have a picnic on the grass or eat popsicles on the porch waiting for Chuck to come home. I can't sit him in the pool for two hours with an empty yogurt cup. There have to be other options.

In anticipation of the upcoming cooler months, I put together a list of "indoor" things to do. So, help me fill in the blanks. Tell me what I'm missing: I really want this to be comprehensive. Some of these are DC-specific, but I'm sure those of you not close to me have other ideas that work wherever you are that I can adapt for me.

And before anyone says, "Whoa, erin, this list is really ambitious," let me be the first to say, "Whoa, me, this list is really ambitious."  I have no idea how many of these things we'll do. I just like to be reminded of all the things I could be doing, should I unlazify myself to do them.

Outdoor (bundled-up) Activities
Gravelly Point to watch the planes
Hiking (Little Bennett, Great Falls, Lake Frank, Rock Creek Trail)
Parks (Wheaton Regional, Clemyjontri, other local parks)

Nature Centers
Agricultural History Farm Park
Black Hill Visitor Center
Brookside Gardens
Brookside Nature Center
Locust Grove Nature Center
Meadowside Nature Center

All the close ones

Building Museum
College Park Aviation Museum
National Air and Space Museum
National Aquarium (a cheaper alternative to Baltimore's)
National History Museum

Shopping (I include these because most have an indoor play place)
Lake Forest Mall (although I'm reading that their Playland is closed until Mid-January--bummer)
Wednesdays at Rio
Wheaton Plaza
White Flint Mall

Indoor Play
Dress up

Puppet Theatre at Glen Echo
Ride a bus

Monday, November 15, 2010

Random Thoughts

Do you know what HTTP stands for, without checking Wikipedia?

What is your "go to" shoe for winter? Even if they're still in wearable condition, I think I need to toss my well-loved Dansko clogs for something more age- and style-appropriate.

Related: Do you know how hard it is to buy shoes when you have little feet? Do you normal-footed people even know that the smallest size most shoe makers make is a size 6? This does NOT help me.

Double Related: Do you know how hard it is to buy knee-high boots for a size 5 foot? Those select shoemakers making shoes of this size think all size 5 calves are thick as my thumb. Again, this does NOT help me.

How cute are these boys?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Brother is Awesome

Not many of the people I know have ever met my brother. Since the year 2000, he's living out his dream in Alaska and rarely makes it down to the lower 48, and even then it's only to Utah to see my parents (and all the hot girls he claims live there). He spends the summers building log homes and during the falls, winters, and springs he hikes and skis with his friends and dogs (maybe that should read, "...with his friends the dogs?"). I spent two weeks with him in Alaska in the summer of 2004. While I had a blast and I loved the ratio of boys to girls (about 10:1), I was done with it after those two weeks. But not Derek. He will likely be up there forever. The dude is tough.

When I saw his Thanksgiving Day plans posted on Facebook, I had to share them. Seriously, it's just cool. I mean, who Alaska? Why, my brother and his friends, of course. See for yourself.  [Edited for readability only.]

So here's the skinny: This is a pot-luck Thanksgiving extravaganza bonanza at [edited for his privacy] mile in the form of a progressive cabin crawl...

We begin at 4:30pm (ish) at Derek and Renee's (yes, D1, but at D. Peters' cabin) for drinks and snicky snacks, then onto Matt and Meg's for mo' drinks and appetizers, then to kitty cabin for turkey and stuffs, then chillin' at Phil and Leigh's for dessert, music improv, general tryptophan induced happenings, then camp out or....

**WHAT to bring: pot-luck item (dropped off at appropriate cabin) and a suggested backpack or sled to carry these thingies: a mess kit (bowl, utensil, goblet, you get the picture), a crazy-creek or pillow (something to sit your butt upon), skis or snowshoes for traveling between cabins, optional musical instrument, camping gear....CAMPING: winter style or platform in Derek's real cabin, or be creative with your car camping skills...MAP: use google maps, right? milepost [edited again], Richardson Hwy, Valdez, Alaska; park in pull out across from [the] lodge or on the pipeline access road....KIDS: the Wizner cabin will be available before, during party for parents and children to escape from the madness...Did I forget anything? RSVP or just show up ;-)

Okay, cool right? I mean, who of you gets an invite to a Thanksgiving feast asking you to bring your own mess kit (complete with a goblet, no less)? And who gets an invite to Thanksgiving where it's suggested you bring Crazy Creek chairs, snowshoes, musical instruments, and a sled? A sled!  Seriously. It might be worth the...let's see here...$4,500 to get me, Chuck, and Rhett there.

Like I said, my brother RULES. And just in case you aren't convinced, see the following pictures.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend Projects

Certainly these projects weren't started and completed this weekend, but at least they were finished. I know it's 11 months before I can display these little jars, but I still like them. I got the jars at the thrift store and cut the vinyl using my Silhouette.

On my to-do list was to fix the rub-on labels for my jars. It was a learning process to be sure, but I'm feeling more and more confident with the Silhouette.

Okay. For my entire childhood, we used an advent like this to countdown the days until Christmas. When my mom was cleaning a couple of years ago, she decided it was time to get rid of it. She consulted with my sister and me and when neither of us wanted it ("Gosh, Mom, it's a bit dated and tacky, don't you think?") she tossed it. But of course, when it came time for me to make my own advent, what did I want? The one I grew up with! So to the best of my ability I tried to re-create it. How did I do family?

Another Silhouette project. I found a girl online who used her Silhouette to cut freezer paper. I contacted her and asked her how she did it (our first attempt did not go well). Once she replied, I was committed. And right now, Rhett is in love with VW bugs and Mini Coopers. Don't be surprised if I'm in the car with you and if I see one of these, I shout "BUG CAR!" (It has been known to happen with my YW in the car.) Anyway, the kid loves them. So now he has a bug car shirt.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Read This

If you have a second, take a time to read this interview with Design Mom. I really, really enjoyed reading this. Maybe one day I'll grow up to be just like her. Just without the six kids.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Because I Got Nothing Else... get these.

We painted our door last weekend and I love it. Of course it needed a new wreath. I saw some just like this on Etsy and what do you think I said? That's right. "No way I'm paying $40 for that! I'll make it myself."  So I did. I'm pretty pleased with it. If you are wondering, it's made with yarn and felt. Next up: A new storm door so you can actually see the black (oh sorry, "Canyon Evening") door.

And then this guy. Oh my. At Joy School on Wednesday he had a blast playing with dried noodles. So after nap you knew what I got out: more dried noodles. These rigatoni were just the right size for putting on fingers. I don't know which he'd choose: these or olives? It'd be a tough call.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Please Consider Voting for My Friend...

Yesterday Chuck spent 13 hours outside a polling place politicking for a friend of ours who was running for our local Board of Education. Rhett and I stopped by many times throughout the day to break the monotony, for all our sakes. We ran by on our way out, ran by on the way in (and then I ran by again after looking for my lost glove), stopped back with a snack, lunch, another snack, dinner, and a goodnight hug and kiss. Good times.

But man, it really reinforced how I could NOT have done what he did. It also reinforced that I could NOT serve a mission. I mean, I could sit there for 13 hours; that's not the problem. I just can't sell people on things that they're just not interested in. Don't get me wrong; there were some who were interested and told Chuck they'd vote for Martha because of what he had to say about her. But most just nodded their heads, trying to get him to stop talking as they walked through the doors to the school. And then there are those that want to argue. That's one thing I can't do for sure: the arguing. But Chuck, on the other hand, really could have been a lawyer (that's another post). He loves the debating. Ick.

Anyway, not that exciting of a post; I know. I'm just still struck by how much I could not have done what he did.

Can I say just how silly our local school system is? I mean, I'm all for holidays where Chuck is home, but Election Day? And just because they think they can't have voters and kids in the schools at the same time? DUMB. No wonder Chuck's still teaching come mid-June.

To make up for posting lameness, I leave you with this picture of Chuck and Rhett. I won't say how much I enjoy them dressing the same, even though this was not my doing. What do you think of Rhett's haircut?